Olga Khavanova (ENG)

Khavanova photoDoctor of Historical Sciences, leading research fellow and head of the Research Center of the multinational Austrian Empire at the Slavonic Studies Institute, Russian Academy of Science, expert in the Habsburg monarchy history and early Modern history of Hungary. The scope of her research interests includes the formation of national communities and national identity in the pre-national era, the history of training and education of the nobility as a social policy tool, the administrative machinery development and career strategies of officials in the enlightened absolutism era, Russian-Austrian diplomatic relations in the second half of the 18th century. Olga’s works are published in English, Russian, German and Hungarian.

Selected bibliography on the history of education:

  • Заслуги отцов и таланты сыновей: венгерские дворяне в учебных заведениях монархии Габсбургов, 1746–1784. СПб.: Алетейя, 2006. 439 с.
  • Born or Brought Up to Be a Hungarian Aristocrat? Count Antal Károlyi Educates his Son József // Adel im «langen» 18. Jahrhundert / Hrsg. von G. Haug-Moritz, H.-P. Hye, M. Rafler. Wien, 2009. P. 73–88.
  • Der ungarische Adel am Wiener Theresianum im 18. Jahrhundert: die sozialen und kulturellen Grenzen einer politischen Nation (A magyar nemesség a 18. századi bécsi Theresianumban: egy politikai nemzet társadalmi és kulturális határai) // Österreichisch-ungarische Beziehungen auf dem Gebiet des Hochschulwesens — Osztrák-magyar felsőoktatási kapcsolatok. Székesfehérvár—Budapest, 2010. 107–122. old.
  • Königliche Stipendien als Instrument der Sozialpolitik im Ungarn des 18. Jahrhunderts // Schulstiftungen und Studienfinanzierung. Bildungsmäzenatentum im Spannungsfeld von Konfession, Landespatriotismus und frühmodernen Nationsgedanken in den böhmischen, österreichischen und ungarischen Ländern 1500–1800 / Hrsg. von J. Bahlcke, Th. Winkelbauer. Wien, 2011. S 351–369.
  • Soziale und kulturelle Auswirkungen einer Lehrveranstaltung: Joseph von Sonnenfels und die administrative Elite der Habsburgermonarchie // Die Anatomie frühneuzeitlicher Imperien. Herrschaftsmanagement jenseits von Staat und Nation / Hrsg. von S. Wendehorst. [Oldenbourg, 2015] (in printing).


Innate Nobleness and Erudite Superiority: The Theresianum in Vienna as the Educational Ideal of the Nobility in the Second Half of the 18th Century

Theresian Noble Collegium of the Society of Jesus (since 1773 – Theresian Noble Academy) was founded in 1746 and remained up to its temporary closure in 1784 the leading educational institution for Catholic noble elites of the Habsburg monarchy. Typologically the Collegium traced back to knightly academies of Germany and France in 17th century, but being created when this form of educational institutions was gradually turning into an anachronism, the Theresianum borrowed many substantial curriculum components from the modern universities. So an estates educational ideal emerged in the second half of the 18th century. On the one hand – the proximity to the court, early socialization in the aristocratic environment (including children of gentry and service class), „noble exercise“ training (horseback riding, dancing, fencing). On the other hand – teaching in branches of law, natural, political cameral and military engineering sciences.

Theresianum could not avoid a certain ambivalence of its position, which is also characteristic for other estates boarding schools, where the child’s abilities often play a secondary role compared to the social weight of his family. On the one hand, to withstand the increasingly fierce competition in the market of educational services the collegium’s management kept a highly qualified staff of professors and continuously improved curricula. On the other hand, the Viennese court considered the enrollment of loyal subjects’ children in the Theresianum as a form of remuneration, comparable to a promotion, conferment of an Order or assignment of a pension.

By the end of the 18th century, in no small part due to the patronage of the court extended to the collegium/ academy, the understanding rooted in the minds of the nobility concerning the needs for education and acquiring knowledge and the need for its specific organizational forms that deepen the symbolic distance between them and educated commoners.

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